Norwegian oil and gas companies are set to increase their exploration activities in 2024, reported Bloomberg.
This year between 40 and 50 wells are expected to be drilled.
In 2023, 34 exploratory wells were spudded. Of them, 23 were wildcat wells, yielding 14 discoveries.
This move is part of Norway’s efforts to maintain its status as a crucial energy provider to Europe, especially after becoming the continent’s leading supplier of natural gas in 2022 in the wake of the Russia-Ukraine war.
According to the Norwegian Offshore Directorate (NPD), there were 92 fields in operation at the end of 2023, with 27 projects under development and numerous exploration wells drilled.
Oil production in Norway increased to 104 million barrels of oil equivalent per day in 2023, up from 97.8 million the year before.
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However, natural gas output experienced a decline of around 5%.
The NPD anticipates that the high level of activity observed in 2023 will persist into 2024, ensuring that oil and gas production remains stable for the next few years.
“The Norwegian shelf will continue to play an extremely important role for energy security in Europe for many years to come,” the regulator said.
The introduction of new fields is expected to compensate for the reduced output from older, maturing fields.
Investment forecasts for 2023 and 2024 have been adjusted upwards compared with previous projections, indicating a significant increase.
In a statement, the NPD emphasised the importance of conducting exploration near existing infrastructure, allowing for new discoveries to be quickly developed and to generate value while the current fields are still operational.
Despite the focus on established areas, the NPD is encouraging companies to actively explore more frontier regions.
“In order to realise more of the resource potential, companies must to a greater degree commit to testing new ideas in frontier areas,” the NPD said.